Seven-colored Parrotlets or Lilac-tailed Parrotlets

Seven-colored ParrotletsParrotlet Information

Parrotlet Species

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The Seven-colored Parrotlet (Touit batavica) is also commonly referred to as Seven-colored Parakeets, Spotted-tailed Parrotlets or Lilac-tailed Parrotlets.

The Seven-colored Parrotlet is endemic to Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the southern Caribbean (northeast of the South American country of Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles), Guyana - a state on the northern coast of South America - north to Merida in Venezuela.

They are common - but they occur only in localities. They are usually found in flocks. Their favored habitats are the dense forest areas and secondary vegetation in tropical and sub-tropical zone up to 1,700 m (9,600 ft). There may be possible seasonal migration between latitudes depending on the availability of food. They usually avoid open areas. Even though they are essentially forest birds, they may be seen in the coastal areas where the forest edge comes close to the shore.

Outside the breeding season 10 to 30 birds may be seen. Occasionally, at favored feeding sites, larger flocks have been observed. They prefer to remain in the canopy of tall trees and rarely come down to ground. They are virtually impossible to detect in the foliage and are mostly sighted when flying overhead.


Description:

Flight:

Their flight is swift and straight with rapid, shallow wing-beats.

Size:

Seven-colored Parrotlets average 14 cm or 5.5 inches in length (including tail).

Males:

The plumage is mostly pale green. The head is green with a yellow front. The back is black with a yellow-green band tipped in blue across the wing coverts. The edge of the wing is pinkish-red. The breast is bluish-green turning yellowish-green on the abdomen. The under wing-coverts are blue with yellow and red markings near the edge of wing. The underside of the flight feathers are bluish-green. They have a lilac-colored tail with a black band. The underparts are green. The feet are brownish-pink and the bill yellowish grey. Adults have orange-colored irises (eyes).

Female:

Both sexes are alike.

Immatures / Juveniles:

Look like the adults, but the yellow to the cheeks is less extensive. The blue tips to the greater wing-coverts are darker and the irises are dark.


Call / Vocalization:

They are generally quiet and inconspicuous. They can only be heard when flying to roost and at roost, at which time they can be quite noisy. They make continuous squeaking sounds during flight.


Diet / Feeding:

Their natural diet consists of various flowers, nectar, fruits, buds, berries and seeds. They mainly feed in the early morning hours.

Captive birds should be fed a good-quality lory solution and a diet as close as possible as it would be in natural environment. Their diet should be rich in tropical fruits, vegetables and greenfoods. It should also include various flowers and buds, fresh rosehips, elder and rowan berries. Also offered should be a sprouted seed mix that may include safflower seeds, various millets, oats, hemp and some sunflower seeds. Fresh (non-toxic) branches for chewing, entertainment as well as nutrition should be provided as well. A mineral supplement may also be recommended by a vet.


Nesting / Breeding

The breeding season usually starts in February or March. They nest in large arboreal (above-ground) termite mounds, tree cavities, including woodpecker holes.

They average clutch size consisted of 5 to 6 eyes, each egg measuring 22.0 x 19.3 mm (0.86 x 0.78 ins).


Aviculture:

There are no known reports of successful breeding of this quiet parrotlet. Unfortunately, those placed into a captive program only survived for few months. They generally refused food during the acclimatization period, requiring force-feeding. The deaths most likely were a result of an unbalanced diet / malnutrition.

Successful maintenance of such a species would require a wide range of food items.

Acclimatization should only be attempted in a large and well-sheltered aviary, with an inner flight to protect them from cold, wet conditions. They should not be exposed to temperatures below 20°C (68°F).

As very little is known about breeding or keeping the Seven-colored Parrotlet, the below information applies to most parrotlets:

Parrotlets enjoy bathing very much, so it's recommended to make available a shallow bathing dish on daily basis.

To satisfy their urge to chew and also for entertainment, provide fresh willow twigs (not necessary in planted aviaries).

Provide an upright nest box 15 x 15 x 25 cm (4 x 4 x 10 ins) with a 5 cm (2ins) entrance hole at all times, as they like to roost in them. Also, some birds breed outside the typical breeding season. Breeding usually begins in August. The breeding condition is signaled by an increasing silvery-blue tinge to the bill.

Eggs are laid every other day. The hen broods alone and usually starts incubating the eggs after the second egg has been laid. The incubation period is about 19 days and during that time she rarely leaves nest and is fed by the male. During this time, she is sensitive to disturbance and nest box inspection, and she may abandon the eggs or chicks if disturbed. The fledging period is 4 to 5 weeks and the young are continued to be fed for 3 to 4 weeks after leaving nest. It is important to remove the young quickly should the parents start breeding again, as the chicks are sometimes injured by parents anxious to breed again.


Taxonomy:

Genus: Scientific: Touit ... English: Spotted-tailed Parrotlets ... Dutch: Bontstaartpapegaaien ... German: Buntschwanzpapageien ... French: Perroquet à dos couleurs

Species: Scientific: Touit batavica ... English: Seven-colored Parrotlet ... Dutch: Zevenkleurenpapegaai ... German: Trinidad Papagei, Siebenfarbenpapagei ... French: Perroquet à dos noir ... CITES II - Endangered Species


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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